Friday, July 17, 2009

Is That Atemporal Tantra You're Having?

A lot of people associate the term Tantra with sex; vastly improved sex, if the marketing materials are to be believed (and some of them are definitely not to be believed!)

As one respected academic who researches and writes about the esoteric depths of Tantric philosophy (David Gordon White) notes:

(Phony, modern) "Tantra is about ritualizing sex", whereas original Tantric practices where about "sexualizing ritual".

Beyond the standard "beats filling your sinuses with oily incense" .... what's up (pun fully intended) with that??

Are sex and spirituality mutually exclusive?

Au contraire -- Tantric philophies and systems are arguably the most ancient spiritual systems in the world ... and were developed long before sex stopped being seen as a natural aspect of life - every bit as natural (strange as it may sound to social conditioning; obvious as it will seem to anyone paying attention and willing to drop social conditioning) as breathing, eating or sleeping.

And, per the meaning of Tantra (from the Sanskrit "Tan" - to expand, and "Tra" - means of saving) -- Mantra is a tool which can be used to be "saved" (back into original consciousness) by mind ("Man", in Sanskrit) -- Yantra is a tool which can be used to be saved by form ("Yan", in Sanskrit), and Tantra is a tool-set which can be usedto be saved by expanding ("Tan", in Sanskrit) awareness via various methods, utilizing body-mind ... including, but not limited to, practices involved breath, bodily position (yogic asanas), mudras, mantras, sex, and whatever else proved useful.

Hence, a conventional meaning, in ancient India, for "Tantra" was also instruction-set, or, if you will: user's guide.

For instance: the Vijnanabhairava Tantra - 112 techniques for accessing conscious awareness of the true natura of Self (just one example amony many).

Which includes, quite actually, becoming aware that awareness itself precedes, supersedes, succeeds, comprises, creates, maintains and dissolves space-time itself.

And, *SAUH* - here's intending All Full-Blown Atemporal Tantra!

Advaita, Already!

I Give Up!

Hey, I One!

How simple; how true -- who knew??

Okay, so .... a lotta people are into Advaita these days (which is kind of ironic, considering the originally Advaitic/Tantric views pre-date recorded history, and were codified by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century C.E. (Advaita Vedanta) in India, and by Abhinavagupta, and those who came just before and after him, in the 9th-11th centuries C.E. (Kashmir Shaivism, aka Advaita Shaiva), in (as coincidence would have it), Kashmir (and yes, Kashmir is part of India today - I'm not sure if it was in those times).

What is Advaita?

Advaita is simply and literally the Sanskrit term for Non-Dual (from Dvaita - "of two", or "from two", aka "dual"; the application of the "a-" prefix negates the meaning of the word - just as the prefix "Non" does, in English -- so Advaita literally means Non-Dual).

Saying that reality is non-dual can seem either obvious, mystifying or utterly crazy, depending on how long and thoroughly one (pun fully intended) has been meditating and/or engaging in other mind-inquiry practices.

There are some (so-called) neo-advaita teachers who say "This is it!" - but say this from the standpoint of limited, dualistic mind ... which can literally obscure the experiencing of advaita.

There are others who say the duality of the world is illusory, either because all appearance is illusion (Advaita Vedanta), or because the mistaken, conceptually-limited views of the ego-mind (aka the "thought called me") is illusory (Advaita Shaiva).

Advaita cannot be understood with the thinking mind, which is inherently based in thought-construct, language and dualistic perception-conditioning .... and therefore, unable to understand/know advaita, using these means/methods.

Advaita can be realized in experience, once it is intuited that non-duality is quite literal and available, and simply refers to the (scientifically validated fact) that everything which appears in consciousness, is appearing with/as/from a single, contiguous field of awareness.

This moment is usually experienced as: thought-called-me-->thinking-conceiving-->thought-called-world.

As practices/inquiry expand, it comes to be known that "all of the above" are actually objects in awareness .... arising, displaying, dissolving .... in the pure experiencER ... the true nature of the self, which doesn't change moment-by-moment as the thought-self, and everything the thought-self thinks, does.

Have you noticed?

Then, ultimately it is noticed that even the most cosmic, infinitely expanded sense of mind-body-self ... is yet and object in the greater field of meta-awareness ... the pure still, silence which simply has nothing to do with what goes on in any level of the awareness-manifestation spectrum (aka mind-body, aka body-mind) -- yet ever is.

Advaita is real.

Advaita is all that's real.

Have you realized?

Watch This Space!

The nature of existence is space.

The nature of space is existence.

And stuff.

Have you noticed?